08 January, 2012

Dies solemnis : double belonging to history

An exhibition devoted to a famous religious procession ended on January 8th at the Saint-Martin collegiate church. Through that annual event, eight centuries of the Angers history were displayed. The "dies solemnis" should have been officially established in the 13th century in Liège but, according to Angers historians, the first edition took place during the 12th century. 

The long cortege started its course in front of the Saint-Maurice cathedral and gathered all the religious and civilian authorities of the town. Up to 5 000 persons walked throughout the streets of Angers dressed in prestigious clothes. Moreover all the streets of Angers were specially decorated for the event. Besides the religious cortege, the Dies solemnis was a trade fair. The event was attended by about 15 000 persons till the end of the Second World War. Only interrupted during the French revolution, the event ended in 1968, a year of political as well as social troubles in Angers and France as a whole. 
In less than a half century, the Angers city has evolved towards, not dechristianization, but a kind of detachment regarding the religious duties. The "dies solemnis" looks to definitively belongs to history.

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